Upcoming Events & Notices
On Sunday, July 1 2018, in the midst of the worst heat wave that Westboro has experienced in years, twenty-five party-goers gathered at La Bufala to celebrate Canada Day. Reviews are already pouring in.
On Friday night, May 18 2018, six visitors to Westboro's own Vive la bouffe! snacked on two delicious amuse-bouche—a Shrimp & Guacamole Dip and Shrimp & Dill Canapes—followed by large plates of Bechamel Sauce. Read customer reviews here.
On the evening of Saturday November 25, 2017, nine customers descended on Vive la bouffe! to dine on Mushroom Bourguignon and Sweet Potato Quiche and, oh yes, to make a Must-See list of Netflix shows for two baffled and bewildered dinner guests. Reviews have already been posted.
On the evening of Monday, November 13, 2017 a gala affair was held at La Bufala to Welcome Home Bufala's two owners, who have been holidaying for the last four weeks in Australia. Unfortunately, Bufala's owners missed one of their flights and weren't able to make it to the party. Reviews have been positive nevertheless.
On Sunday night October 29, 2017, The Frosty Mug provided cold beers, room-temperature paté (courtesy of The Liver Spot) and hot Butternut Squash Lasagne to a large and boisterous crowd. Three reviews have already been posted.
On Saturday night, October 28, 2017 Barristers kicked off it '2017 Season' with a sumptuous feast. So far, reaction has been enthusiastic (n.b. any 'reviews' published before the actual dinner event do not count as 'First Reviews').
On Friday, October 20, 2017, world traveller and bon vivant S. Valia read passages from her most recent diaries to a rapt audience at Vive la bouffe!. Her stories transported listeners from a spa that doubles as a working 'ranch' (cattle drive, anyone?) in northern Mexico to the volcanic peak of Tanzania's Mt. Kilimanjaro. The dinner 'event', which was publicized on eye-catching posters that had been plastered all over town, pulled in an audience of seven guests, who learned about Self-Awareness ("In Mindfulness class at the spa I opened the door to a calmer, quieter version of myself but at dinner no one recognized me so I reverted back") and Determination ("We walked and walked! Where were the sherpas??! Sore feet. Won't be back!"). S. Valia will be back, however... to Vive la bouffe!
Members of Westboro's Honda Car Club gathered for supper (Chickpea Curry, Oven-Roasted Beets, Kale Salad) at The Eden Street Café & Salmon Smokehouse on Saturday, October 14 to talk about clutch-to-torque ratios and Netflix's Line of Duty where they drive Volvos (eyeroll) on the wrong side of the road. The evening's only oppressive moment came after dinner, when Eden's barista offered guests hot water instead of coffee.
Thanksgiving Weekend (Oct. 7-9, 2017) was a busy one for W.A.R. personnel. The campaign got underway on the morning of Saturday October 7 with a brunch at REX (reviews have started to trickle in). Later that day, gains were made on two fronts simultaneously, with clashes at both the Eden Street Café & Salmon Smokehouse (no idea what they served, if anything) and Vive la bouffe! (Mussels in White Wine, followed by Thai Red Curry). On Sunday night (October 8), bouffe-nord was the scene of a fierce All-You-Can-Eat Roast Turkey Offensive (so far, just one overly-long W.A.R. report has been filed). Completing the mission, on the evening of Monday October 9, a surprise attack on a Prime Rib Roast (featuring a Yorkshire Pudding) at The Morris GastroPub. That battle—like the others—was eventually won, but according to a worrisome eye-witness account, the W.A.R. is far from over.
A group of W.A.R. chefs, waiter, waitresses, sommeliers and Kitchen Managers who met on Wednesday evening (August 30, 2017) at The Clocktower on Richmond Road enjoyed their impromptu party, but were somewhat chagrined to be presented with a bill at the end of the evening. According to one of the partiers, "It kinda ends things on a sour note. Not impressed at all". When another attendee said "This kind of thing just doesn't happen at any of the W.A.R. restaurants", one wag quietly observed that if people had to pay to attend a get-together at a W.A.R. bistro, "no one would ever go".
On Monday night, August 28, Le Jardin hosted dinner for seven. To flavour the chicken, Jardin's chef used a package of 'spices'—an alluring mixture of turmeric, cumin, trinitroglycerin and ammonium nitrate (a savoury ingredient more commonly found in agricultural fertilizers)—purchased at the Aljezeera Market (1101 Wellington West, next to The Record Centre). Read the first reviews here.
On Sunday August 20, 2017, after a catered lunch (quiche and a salad), The Restless Quill's waiter read from his new book of short stories. The presentation was made to an attentive audience of 8 on a floating dock at a private resort in Quebec. After the reading, in the course of a lively Q&A session, The Quill's Kitchen Manager (whose likeness is featured on the new book's cover) was revealed to be the inspiration for many of the waiter's stories, especially those that explore his favorite themes (lust, libido and food).
n.b. This is the waiter's 25th or 26th (or possibly 27th?) book. His last public reading, which went viral, took place on September 21, 2016.
On Saturday, August 11, 2017, two tourists from Montreal toured the new show at Ottawa's National Gallery of Canada (Early Indigian and Canadian Art) and then waited out a dramatic electrical storm that threatened to ignite the twin steeples of the Notre-Dame Cathedral, just across Sussex Avenue from the Gallery. That notable drama was followed by another—dinner (Caprese Salad, BBQ Salmon with Wild Rice, half a cupcake) at Vive la bouffe! The relaxed mood was tested only once, when the waiter revealed his stubborn nature ("closed-mindedness" according to one reviewer) when he gently chided one of the dinner patrons who was arguing that mind-reading, crystal-ball gazing and soothsaying are all more accurate and exact than 'boring old-fashioned science'.
On the evening of Thursday, July 27 2017, Montreal's Un Petit Peu hosted a gala reception for a family of western Canadian Vodka Barons.
Two 'celebrity' chefs from Hey Moose!, Lumsden Saskatchewan's most popular steakhouse, were brought in for the occasion, along with extra kitchen staff from Ottawa's Vive la bouffe!. Reviews have already started to trickle in.
Kitchen staff from The Lazy Bay Bistro in Wallace Nova Scotia hosted three seafood dinners, two pork barbecues and one meal of leftovers between July 16 and 21, 2017. Dinner patrons included two visiting chefs from Ottawa (long-time employees of Westboro's own Vive la bouffe!), a ceramicist and a Professor of Modernity out of Montreal, and a well-known portrait artist native to Fredericton New Brunswick. Most of the meals were served at the recently updated Lazy Bay Bistro (read the first reviews here), but two suppers were 'historical reenactments' that were charred and served in a two-hundred-year-old kitchen in Advocate Harbour on Cape Chignecto (please note that if Pangea's tectonic plates had broken up just a bit to the left when they detached 200 million years ago, we would have had to travel 5,872 miles east to Africa to enjoy our Cape Chignecto meals, instead of the easy two hour drive west of Wallace along Highway 209).
On Thursday night, July 13, 2017, REX served dinner for seven in its newly-renovated dining room. After drinks in the Flower Garden, guests were whisked inside while REX's Grill Chef barbecued the evening's main—Glazed, Cedar-Planked Salmon. Dinner guests were ecstatic and (see the first reviews here) have already started a campaign to move REX's star rating from 2 to 5 (out of 5)!
Le Jardin held its annual Backyard Canada Day Party on July 1, 2017. Because of recent heavy rains guests had been asked to bring hip-waders and rubber dinghies but at the last minute the party was moved indoors because Le Jardin's back garden sits on unceded land belonging to the Haudenosaunee & Anishinaabe peoples, and Le Jardin's maître d' had forgotten to ask for permission to serve appetizers there. This fall, btw, a team of Anishinaabe carvers plans to cut down the tri-colour beech and carve it into a ceremonial war canoe.
On Wednesday evening, June 21 2017, Vive la bouffe! hosted a dinner for the maître d' and Kitchen Manager from Nova Scotia's Lazy Bay Bistro (they are on a recipe-gathering road trip that is taking them through Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick). On bouffe's menu: Vietnamese Grilled Beef Salad.
On Sunday night June 18, 2017, REX hosted dinner for seven. In attendance: the owner of The Morris GastroPub (who roared up to the curb in his red MG convertible), the waiter and waitress from Vive la bouffe! (who arrived without nearly as much fanfare on bicycles) and the two chefs from Diva's. On the REX menu: a cilantro-laced Guacamole, peppery Radish Halves, succulent BBQ'd Ribs, a colourful Orzo salad and a creamy Coleslaw. Read new reviews here.
JUNE 2017 UPDATE: While other W.A.R. owners have had the good sense to close down their restaurants for a month or two (or three) now that the hot weather is here, Vive la bouffe!'s motto has always been 'When you can't stand the heat, get back INTO the kitchen!', and indeed, Vlb has been busy this month. Three successive 'Last Night in Town' goodbye dinners (for Vive's longest-serving waiter) were held on June 7, 8 and 9 respectively, followed by a June 15 Gala (BBQ'd Salmon, Oven-Roasted New Potatoes, Mixed Greens) for the owner of Montreal's exclusive 'Un Petit Peu'.
June 2, 2017: According to the first reviews last night's 'event' at Vive la bouffe! was something of a snore fest:
badA$$: "Really? A half-hour of television, then dinner, and then [shakes head] you get 'that look' that says it's bedtime and it's time to go home? It's like the maitre d' thinks we're a bunch of ten-year-olds FFS"
purplenoise67: "At least the chiken was tender, and no bones"
mcool: "The only (brief) excitement was when one of the guests set fire to her napkin"
On Friday, May 19, 2017, La Bufala hosted dinner for 17. On the menu: Spicy Oven-Roasted Shrimp accompanied by a Lentil & Rice Salad. The very next day, many of the same restaurant patrons gathered in the back garden at Le Jardin, waiting impatiently—while the sun slowly set and the Dogwood blossoms gradually closed—for 6:30pm. Dinner hour came and went, though, with no sign of a meal, and despondent guests finally left. One customer (known only by his nom de plume—Dimples99) who refused to leave until he'd been given dinner was eventually handcuffed and escorted down the street to Barristers. He was just in the process of being finger-printed and arraigned when he pulled a 'Get Out of Jail Free' coupon out of his pocket and handed it to Barristers' waiter. Upon his release, Dimples sauntered down to the bottom of the street to collect more coupons from the lower margin of a Netflix poster that was stapled to a telephone pole. His next stop—who knows? The Restless Quill, for a free book of poetry? Or Pälegg, for a tray of Ski Queen cheese?
Mother's Day, May 14, 2017: After slurping Pho at Pho Thu Do on Somerset last night, Vive la bouffe!'s waiter and waitress, accompanied by their son (Vive's barista), walked north on Lorne Avenue and around the block, stopping only to have a very confusing conversation with an elderly couple and their son—
Vive la bouffe! waiter: "We just had Pho with our daughter at her favorite Pho place" (n.b. waiter failed to mention that his daughter was no longer with them as she had left the restaurant in the opposite direction to walk back to her condo)
elderly woman (discombobulated but, after a meaningful look at the Vive barista, determined to keep the conversation light): "How nice! Ronald just came back from Toronto to have dinner with us. His treat!"
Vive waitress (turning to Vive barista who is now staring intently at his shoes): "Do you think maybe you'll treat us for dinner some Mother's Day?!"
elderly man (after an awkward silence), trying to be both supportive and upbeat: "Well maybe after the gender-transitioning is complete she'll feel more confident about doing things like that"
After a hurried exchange of goodbyes the Vive barista explained to his bewildered parents, as they were getting into the car, what had just happened.
4-Button Award!!! On Thursday May 11 (2017) a Tapas party (Smoked Salmon on Toast, Bean Dip, Vietnamese Salad Rolls, etc. etc.) was held at Vive la bouffe! to honour the Sandy Hill C.H.C.'s Client Access and Addictions teams. How good was the food? "Button-bursting good". A total of four buttons popped off blouses and/or coats in the course of the evening—one button was found and handed over to the owner at the door, two were found later that night after the guests had left, and a final button was found on the floor the next morning. Congratulations to all those who brought such delicious food!
On April 30, 2017, a group of diners—a full week after Easter Sunday but still, it would seem, in a state of spiritual ecstasy—talked excitedly about bibles at The Morris GastroPub, while feasting on Bouillabaisse. Read reviews here.
Saturday, April 15 (2017): At a recent, family-booked dinner party at Vive la bouffe! one poor soul accidentally put a large dollop of wasabi instead of guacamole on a chip. Out of respect, there will be none of the usual sarcastic commentary posted here on foodhippo.ca, other than this solitary, sombre confirmation of the facts. The authorities are looking into who it was who put the guacamole bowl next to the wasabi.
April 20, 2017: Our intrepid foodhippo reviewer (and sometime hockey fan) recently found himself facing off against a meatball sandwich at the Prescott Tavern on Preston Ave. In his post-game analysis, he said the sandwich deserved a double-minor for "attempt to injure" ("... heavy, greasy, salty"). When pressed for a more detailed review (which is what we pay him for after all) he said that the sandwich was "extremely tasty" but at the same time "depressing", because it made him realize "just how good the Westboro restaurants featured on foodhippo.ca actually are and yet... none of them keep the hours of The Prescott" (7 days a week, 11am-1am).
On the evening of Saturday, April 1 (2017), Diva's hosted dinner for a party of six. The meal (Spaghetti with a Red Sauce) was delicious, but early reviewers have had more to say about Diva's 'dreamy' waitress, not to mention the noisy baker. Read the reviews here.
On Sunday night March 1, 2017, The Frosty Mug hosted dinner for twelve. The Chicken Marbella was delicious, but the mostly liberal, leftist and progressive patrons at The Mug were given something decidedly less palatable to chew on as well. Read the new reviews here.
La Bufala called in a number of suspects for questioning on Saturday night, February 18, 2017, in hopes of turning up clues in the CMBM (LiR). Bufala's Kitchen Supervisor had requested the help of a 'sniffer dog', but the dog's owners were out of town and the people looking after the dog wanted to keep it at home to pat it. Oh yes—on Bufala's menu that night: Monkfish in a Thai Red Curry Coconut Milk Sauce.
Six diners from Ottawa and Halifax converged on Montreal's Un Petit Peu on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, for a weekend of arts, culture... and bouffing. Read the new reviews here.
Feb. 14, 2017: After seeking a ruling in front of Canada's Supreme Court on the constitutionality of s. 194(1) of the Securities Act, a few key members of the legal team (who argued against Her Majesty the Queen—see photo in entry below) met at The Eden Street Café & Salmon Smokehouse for dinner (Poached Salmon Dusted with Red Spice) and discussion. One of the lawyers who was present at the meal is the son of Eden Street's owners.
Feb. 10, 2017: Two members of a Gourmet Travel Club based in London England, now touring Upper Canada with the goal of sampling the best of Canadian cuisine, arrived in Ottawa today raving about their first dining experience—lunch at an exclusive little bistro by the name of Tim Hortons, on Highway 7 near Perth, Ontario. Read their reviews of Tim Hortons and Vive la bouffe! here.
The Eden Street Café & Salmon Smokehouse hosted a reunion of fellow restauranteurs on Saturday night, February 4 2017 (read the new reviews here). In attendance—La Bufala's waitress, now back in Ottawa after taking part in the historic Women's March in Washington DC. Barristers' legal team was at Eden Street as well, just off the plane from Bogata Colombia where they interrogated the only suspect in The Case of the Missing Black Mittens (Lined in Red). They refused to comment on the case, citing lawyer-client privilege. Palegg's Kitchen Supervisor didn't say anything directly about the mittens either, but she had plenty to say about the foodhippo reviewer's misuse of accents over vowels in the Norwegian reviews of Palegg. Ironic, when you consider that the foodhippo reviewer got her to do the translations!
The Frosty Mug's Maître D’ has been awarded the prestigious Golden Hippo for "Keeping his Beer Steins at a Constant Temperature of -12º C".
The 2017 Restaurant Season began in earnest with two Dinner Soirées at Un Petit Peu in Montreal. Customers dieted on bite-sized hors d'oeuvre (accompanied by a few bottles of red wine) and then stumbled down Rue Mackay to Garage Beirut (Lebanese food, 1238 rue Mackay) and—after the next soirée—to Avesta (Turkish food, 2077 rue Ste-Catherine Ouest). Read the reviews.
A New Year’s Day Luncheon was held at La Mangeoire Pic-Bois on the afternoon of January 1, 2017. If one uses the Westboro Restaurant Association standards for measuring the success of a dinner party (Reg.168-s75: If Netflix isn’t mentioned within the first fifteen minutes, a party has to be considered 'remarkable' and Reg.168-s76: If Netflix isn’t mentioned within the first hour, the party is 'nothing short of a triumph') then a fair-minded reviewer* would have to concede that the luncheon at La Mangeoire Pic-Bois—during which Netflix wasn’t mentioned once!—was a 'remarkable triumph’. Luncheon guests laughed and chatted and dined on all manner of delicacies. They also watched as pic-bois after pic-bois fed from the suet-feeder hanging just outside the large picture window.
*Remember, though, that the foodhippo reviewer has never pretended to be (yawn) “fair-minded”. And so, while La Mangeoire Pic-Bois’s application for membership in the FRC (Foodhippo Restaurant Club) winds its way through the bureaucratic channels, the best we can do is to conditionally award Pic-Bois 1.5 stars, and warn the owners that the next review might be quite a bit harsher.
Le Jardin hosted a large New Year's Eve Bash on the evening of December 31, 2016. See bottom of this page for the new reviews.
December 29, 2016: Rex served up a multi-ethnic feast of Vietnamese Salad Rolls, Chinese Dumplings and Thai Yellow Curry with Tofu to welcome two intrepid exiles back to Canada (their home is in Quebec). Read the new review here.
Christmas Day, 2016: Even as eight convivial carnivores were indulging in a Roast Turkey Feast at Vive la bouffe!, vegetarians gathered down the street at La Bufala. The 'grande evento' there, according to the Bufala waitress, was that one customer "lost her black mittens lined in red, and today in an email accused [name withheld] of losing them, possibly at our restaurant".
December 24, 2016: Nine patrons enjoyed Hot & Sour Soup and All-You-Can-Eat Sushi at Vive la bouffe! (read new reviews). Meanwhile, just up the street, the owners of Pälegg, thinking it was the 25th and not the 24th (Kitchen Manager is from Norway which is five hours ahead—so she was only 19 hours too early!) served a traditional Christmas Dinner: roast turkey, stuffing, etc.
On December 10 2016, The Eden Street Café & Salmon Smokehouse hosted 40 dinner guests for a 'birthday gala' for Eden Street’s Kitchen Manager (read the new reviews)
On November 29, 2016, five patrons enjoyed a selection of fine cheeses, brought back from France by the Maîtres Affineur at Rex. (read new review here)
Dinner for three was served in the Chandelier Room at Edgehill’s-by the-Lake in Kingston, Ontario on the evening of Saturday, November 26, 2016.
On Saturday November 26, 2016, La Bufala hosted an afternoon reception to honour the long and storied life of the father of Bufala’s owner.
On November 20, 2016, the Eden Street Café & Salmon Smokehouse served a Moroccan Stew to three customers.
On October 22, 2016, ten ‘regulars’ enjoyed Spinach Lasagne and Green Beans & Mushrooms at Vive la bouffe!
On October 10, 2016 The Morris GastroPub held a Thanksgiving Day dinner party for a party of eight.